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Kim Mays won't be charged for lying

Kim Mays will not face a criminal charge for filing a false police report accusing her father of sexually abusing her. Instead, she will receive counseling, something state agents who investigated her claims said she needed.

Highlands County Assistant State Attorney Steve Houchin met for less than an hour Wednesday with Kim and her biological parents, Ernest and Regina Twigg. He said Kim and the Twiggs agreed to the arrangement.

"She is going to seek counseling, and we are not going to file criminal charges," Houchin said. "This would end the involvement of the state attorney's office in this matter."

This latest chapter in Kim's troubled life began in September when the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was notified by the state Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services that Kim had described years of sexual abuse by her father, Bob Mays.

Kim, 15, told FDLE agents that her father abused her beginning at age 7. After a series of follow-up interviews, during which Kim's story began to unravel, she finally admitted to making it all up.

"She's a young lady who needs professional help," said Philip G. Ramer, FDLE's supervising agent in Tampa, at a September news conference.

The state agents found that the Twiggs, Kim's biological parents, did not coerce her into making allegations against Bob Mays. The incident brought the much-chronicled "baby-swap" case to light _ again.

Kim was switched shortly after birth in 1978 at a Hardee County hospital. She went home with Barbara and Bob Mays, who were unaware that Kim was actually the biological child of Ernest and Regina Twigg. The Twiggs brought home Arlena, the biological child of the Mayses.

Neither side knew about the swap until a decade had passed and Arlena died of a congenital heart defect. Regina Twigg began to suspect that Arlena was not her biological child, and her search for the truth led her _ and eventually hundreds of reporters _ to Kim Mays.

The swap itself remains a mystery. No one has ever explained how, when or why it happened.

After a book, a movie and countless "exclusive" appearances on television and in newspapers, the Twiggs and Bob and Kim Mays took their fight over Kim's custody to court last year. Barbara Mays had long since died of cancer.

Kim was given her freedom from the Twiggs by a Sarasota judge and then changed her mind and moved in with the Twiggs, the family she had long sought to escape.

After seven months of relative quiet in the case, Kim's charges of sexual abuse were made public. After her abuse story was debunked, she faced a possible misdemeanor charge of making false statements to police.

That possibility disappeared Wednesday when Kim agreed to counseling. No charge was filed against her, and it will be up to her to seek and continue psychiatric care for as long as she and the Twiggs think she needs it.

_ Information from Times files was used in this report.